One of the current trends and challenges in implant dentistry is the potential of digital dentistry to contribute to the surgical and prosthetic fields.
Digital scanning techniques have been increasingly applied to dentistry in both planning and execution. By scanning the teeth and gingiva in orthodontics and rehabilitation, we can now avoid using standard impressions with trays and impression materials.
Besides being less invasive, and a faster process, the information collected from scanning occupies only digital space; it is also reliable and facilitates repetition or duplication processes.
This information can be worked on and used for planning, which makes it possible to preview the predicted final result and present it to patients, facilitating the management of expectations.
A CAD/CAM system is used for manufacturing prosthetics and for the execution of surgical guides. The main challenge in this area will be to merge all the softwares and types of digital files in order to visualize the patient as a whole. This will allow us to associate hard and soft tissue scanning information for the execution of prosthetic rehabilitation, while respecting the patient physiognomy.
This association of softwares and digital files is still in an experimental phase, and should be performed in a large-scale study by professionals in the near future.
In my view, additional innovative products in implant dentistry, which are currently being developed, will undoubtedly continue to represent major breakthroughs and will set again new benchmarks in implant dentistry.
Prof. Malo is a visiting professor at several universities, has published numerous scientific journal articles and is co-author of several textbooks. Prof. Malo lectures regularly at international conferences and has also received several distinctions and awards for his medical/dental breakthroughs (including the All-on-4® treatment concept) and his management, leadership and entrepreneurial skills.